Tornadoes and destructive winds are also possible in the northeast today.
A slow frontal system brings very heavy rains from the central United States to the east coast. More than 3 inches of rain caused flash flooding in the Detroit area on Friday. Over 5 inches of rain were reported in Indiana, nearly 6 inches of rain were reported in Illinois, and over 10 inches of rain were reported in Kansas.
The system is moving east this morning and will bring more heavy rain to parts of the Ohio Valley and eventually to the northeast. Severe storms, including the risk of possible tornadoes and destructive winds, will be possible from Maryland to New York today, including Philadelphia and New York.
Flash flood watches are in effect from Indiana to Massachusetts. Of particular concern is the threat of precipitation in parts of the northeast. The region is well above average for precipitation.
In addition to flash flood watches, severe thunderstorm watches are now in effect across much of the Northeast, including Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York. Strong to severe thunderstorms are already developing in parts of the region.
Strong and potentially damaging wind gusts are the main concern of violent thunderstorms that move. Stronger and slower thunderstorms bringing torrential rains also come with the threat of dangerous flash floods and frequent lightning.
One of these more severe thunderstorms is already impacting parts of northeastern New Jersey all the way to New York… and it’s moving very slowly. The worst at the moment is Elizabeth in Jersey City, New Jersey, where a flash flood warning has just been issued.
New York City has received 8.49 inches of rain so far for the month of July. To put that in context, New York City’s average precipitation for the entire month of July is 4.60 inches. The wettest July on record in New York City is 11.89 inches.
Boston has had 8.92 inches of rain so far in July. Boston is currently experiencing its third wettest July on record. The wettest July on record in Boston is 11.69 inches.
Precipitation forecasts for Saturday and Sunday storms locally indicate more than 3 inches of rain. While it’s not certain, it seems possible that northeastern cities are approaching or exceeding their wettest July on record – and it could happen this weekend, in places.
Flash floods are a concern. Since the soil is very saturated, heavy rains are likely to cause flash floods very quickly.
Meanwhile, in the West, a heat wave persists in parts of the region, but it is not as severe as the recent heat waves. In fact, only a few records are threatened over the next few days.
Of greater concern is the risk of dry lightning in California and western Nevada on Sunday evening. Dry lightning can quickly start forest fires, which will quickly get out of hand.
Additionally, more monsoon-related flooding will be possible in Arizona and New Mexico.
Dozens of large, uncontrolled forest fires continue to burn in the West, including:
-Beckwourth Complex fire burns in northern California, near Beckwourth. Currently 105,348 acres, 70% confined.
-The Dixie Fire burning in northern Califormia in Butte County at 9,847 acres and 12% contained.
-The Bootleg Fire burns in southern Oregon, north of the town of Beatty, now on 281,208 acres, 22% contained.
-The Burning River Fire in Mariposa County, Calif. On 9,656 acres and 64% contained.
-The Snake River Complex fire, which burns in west-central Idaho, near the Oregon state border, spans 103,907 acres, 31% contained.
-The red apple fire burning in central Washington state on 11,111 acres and 51% contained.